My good friend at home just sent me this photo in my birthday card. We are about 20, very drunk and laughing our heads off. Wow…I look so young! I also cannot help but notice that I am voluntarily wearing a crop top.
It’s my 40th birthday on Friday (thank you, I know I don’t ), and like it or not it’s one hell of a milestone. When Lizzie and I were in that photo 40 seemed like a bazillion years into the future. I couldn’t even imagine being that old. 40 seemed so grown up. Which is weird as that is what it still feels like. Except, I will actually be it. Which means, if 40 = Grown Up. Then that must mean I Am Officially A Grown Up.
Grown ups are wise. Grown Ups are sorted. Grown Ups just know things. Which got me thinking: just what have I learned in the last 20 years? What would I love to have known back then that I know now?
I have learned the following Splendid Truths in the last 20 years:
1. Just because you can do a job well doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
2. Look after your body. Treat it with respect. Move it regularly.
3. Look after people and money will look after itself.
4. Love comes when you are not looking for it and those irritating smug marrieds that parroted “you’ll know when you know” were (even more irritatingly) right. Wait: there is no rush.
5. Be yourself. Unapologetically and consistently.
6. Disagreement can be healthy.
7. Emotions are for feeling not hiding in booze/work/shopping. They are messengers to be listened to. Allow yourself to feel your feelings.
8. You cannot please everyone and that’s totally okay.
9. People in authority/older than you are not always right.
10. Your health is WAY more important than your To Do list.
11. You can never have too many shoes.
12. You are not responsible for other people’s choices or reactions.
13. Every penny spent on travel is an investment in the happiness bank.
14. Cherish every day. Love is rare.
15. If it’s not right for you, then it’s just not right for you. That’s okay.
16. If you need to ask if your bum looks big then it does. Put something else on.
17. Big Corporate does not = security
18. Happiness is found in the million little things not the one off big things.
19. Work does not have to be hard. You can look forward to Monday morning as much as you do Friday night. Oh yes you can!
20. Examine what you believe as your beliefs shape your life.
21. You do not have to employ people in order to lead and inspire.
22. Relax. Lighten up! Enjoy the ride.
23. Bungy jumping will not, repeat not, cure a fear of heights.
24. You are responsible for your own happiness.
25. Look for that change you seek within yourself not those around you.
26. You can totally have more than one great career.
27. Speak up. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
28. Sometimes you need to work at relationships and sometimes you just are not a fit for each other. That’s okay. Leave. Grieve. Move on without regret.
29. Regret is a big fat waste of time. Take the lessons you needed to learn and then Let It Go.
30. The Universe is a benevolent force that is working for you. Let it know what you desire and all sorts of unexpected cool stuff will show up.
31. Go find a yoga class. It will connect to yourself in a way you can’t imagine.
32. You will have friends for a reason, a season and a lifetime. Hold them with joy and lightness.
33. Choosing one path means letting go of another, and that’s okay.
34. There is no rush. You have so much more time than you think for everything.
35. Don’t buy that Holden Barina. It will be a money pit on wheels.
36. Life/Work Balance is completely possible but you have to consciously choose it. It’s not as hard as you think.
37. Expect the best in others. You will usually find it.
39. Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
40. Some stuff in life will go horribly wrong, but you will cope and come through. Do not be afraid. There will be much to celebrate and more laughter than tears.
41. There’s never a bad time for French champagne.
42. The thing about life is that it’s not about things.
43. You are absolutely good enough, just as you are.
I wish I could go back and whisper in my ear! Oh, the heartache and the agonies that could have been avoided! But then I guess that’s all part of the journey, learning stuff the hard way as we go. Which is weird because I am pretty sure that at 20 I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know! Whereas now at 40 (gulp!) I know I learn more every single beautiful day.
What Splendid Truths have you learned? Do any of the above resonate with you?